2015 Perennial Plant of the Year: Biokovo Geranium

BIOKOVA GERANIUM flowers closeup.jpg beechwoodlandscapecom   The Perennial Plant Association (PPA), annually names an outstanding plant its “Perennial of the Year.”  The 2015 selection is an easy-to-grow hardy geranium groundcover (spreading) perennial, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’, which is a cultivar that is native to the Biokovo Mountains in Croatia.  It is said to be hardy in zones 4-8.  It begins blooming in late spring, lasting through summer, with tiny white-petaled flowers, tinged slightly ...

Continue Reading→
0

Featured Pest: Japanese Beetles

Adult Japaese BeetleThe Japanese Beetle is a highly destructive plant pest that can be very difficult and expensive to control.  Feeding on turf grass roots, Japanese Beetle grubs (larvae) damage lawns.  The adult beetles attack the foliage, flowers, or fruits of more than 300 different ornamental and agricultural plants.  While most of the damage to plants is done by late summer, this is the time to treat lawns for grubs.

The Japanese ...

Continue Reading→
0

Winter Landscape Damage in Maryland

DSC03712The severe winter has brought damage to landscapes that we’ve not seen in a great many years.  Some plants that have been very winter hardy here may appear to be dead or very heavily damaged.  Some will recover later if the damaged/dead plant parts are trimmed off.  I recommend delaying wholesale cutting off of winter burnt foliage until the temperatures remain above freezing.  Even the unsightly brown/dead foliage serves to shield and ...

Continue Reading→
0

Fall Webworm

DSC03254So many people have asked me about these unsightly silk tents at the branch tips of trees seemingly everywhere – yes, this seems to be a banner year for fall webworm. This caterpillar hatches in the summer from moths that lay masses of eggs on the undersides of foliage, and they can be found feeding on any of over 100 species of deciduous trees and shrubs.The larvae (caterpillars) ...

Continue Reading→
0

Salt Damage to Landscape Plants

DSC03718The quantities of salt applied to area roadways and sidewalks during the winter of 2013-2014 was among the most in decades, given the long cold, icy,and snowy periods, which ran relentlessly from November through March.  While the repeat or heavy salt applications certainly enabled us to traverse our roads more safely, the damage to plants and turf grass is a most unfortunate byproduct.   Clearly turf grass adjacent to roadways was ...

Continue Reading→
0

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Eastern Tent Caterpillar TentThe most welcome warm weather and sunny days of spring also brings forth some undesirable sights. One of the most common is the web of the Eastern tent caterpillar. Found commonly in cherry trees (members of the Prunus family), the prominent web in the fork of the trees provides the nightly hiding place for the caterpillars, which feed on the leaves during the day.  Once the insect has had its ...

Continue Reading→
0

Driveway Garden Creation

Driveway Garden AfterThe typical suburban landscape sports a double driveway up from the street, with a strip of space between the top of the driveway and the front door that needs to provide interest throughout the year.

This area is a space that the homeowners see whenever they leave from or return to the house.  It is the first area the visitor sees, and often is a very open area ...

Continue Reading→
0

Protecting Plants in Winter

Weather patterns have been variable in recent years, to say the least.  After two relatively mild winters, the winter of 2013-2014 has started out more winter-like than has been customary.  The previous few winters have been characterized by fluctuating winter temperatures, such as long warm periods followed by sudden deep chills, and these conditions are very detrimental to many plants.  This pattern last winter resulted ...

Continue Reading→
0

Winter Weeds

You may wonder about the appearance of new weeds in your gardens and lawns this time of the year.  These are winter annual weeds, which began germinating in the fall.  They are viable for the good part of a year (hence, their designation as ‘annuals’).  Their seeds began germinating in October, and they thrive from fall through early spring.  They die off by summer.  If you are on ...

Continue Reading→
0

2014 Perennial Plant of the Year: Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (Switchgrass)

Panicum Northwind summer foliage

Each year, the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) names an outstanding plant its “Perennial of the Year.”  The selection for 2014 is Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’,  an ornamental grass that was a runner-up in 2012.  This is one of the first PPA winners in recent history that I have not personally grown and used in landscapes, so I cannot ...

Continue Reading→
0

Holiday Gift for Gardeners

Garden Makeover Company A unique and practical holiday gift for the gardening afficionado, or anyone who could use a hand in the garden, is a custom gift certificate.  Garden Makeover Company offers gift certificates in any denomination, tailored to the sender’s request — e.g., for a garden consultation or coaching session, or for any hands-on gardening service.  It can be used to purchase a nice floral gift item, such ...

Continue Reading→
0

Outstanding Fall Foliage

Paperbark MapleThe rich, earthy hues of fall provide a nice transition from the light, lively rainbow of pastels that marks summertime and the imminent (ominous) cold — maybe wet and windy — gray winter.  As the outside temperatures begin to drop, the deep yellows, russets, reds and maroons of the changing leaves provide warmth and brightness to this fleeting season.  Before the leaves are all gone, take note of ...

Continue Reading→
0
Page 1 of 4 1234